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Playing games

Artificial intelligence subject of upcoming public lecture

Campus and Community

By Kelly Foss

Artificial intelligence is the subject of an upcoming public lecture on Memorial’s St. John’s campus.

Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer, dean, Faculty of Science for the University of Alberta, will give a “gentle” introduction to artificial intelligence, or AI, contrasting the abilities of humans and computers to solve problems. He will illustrate these differences using games.

High-profile applications

Dr. Schaeffer’s checkers-playing program, Chinook, was the first computer to win a human world championship in any game (1994).

“AI technology is already changing the world, although most of the impact is invisible to the general population,” said Dr. Schaeffer.

“That will end very soon as high-profile applications of AI will profoundly alter the way we live, work and play – such as driverless cars.”

His lecture, titled The Games Computers (and Humans) Play, takes place Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation, room IIC-2001.

A reception will follow; limited free parking is available in lot 17. All are welcome.

Biography

Dr. Schaeffer is a professor in the Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, and is co-founder of the University of Alberta spin-off company Onlea, which creates engaging online learning experiences.

He is best known for his work applying AI technology to the problem of building high performance game-playing programs, as well as tackling the challenges of the commercial computer games industry.


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